Members of Virginia Alpha Gamma celebrated the start of Alpha Delta Kappa month Tuesday night.
Founded by four women in 1947, Alpha Delta Kappa is an honorary international organization dedicated to providing support, empowerment, recognition and community for women educators.
Alpha Delta Kappa is comprised of local chapters. Waynesboro’s chapter is called Virginia Alpha Gamma and consists of 22 members. That membership is growing, said Lillie Walters of Waynesboro, vice president of Virginia Alpha Gamma.
“We recognize excellence in education,” Walters said of the organization.
Providing opportunities for active and retired teachers to grow, lead, and serve others is an integral part of the local chapter’s mission to empower and support women educators, in addition to recognizing and meeting needs in the community.
“The Virginia Alpha Gamma Chapter of Waynesboro and Augusta County is commemorating over 40 years of service and has been providing philanthropic and social contributions,” said Terry Short, mayor of Waynesboro, in an address to the group.
October is designated as Alpha Delta Kappa month, and chapters everywhere are joining the celebration.
Short joined Virginia Alpha Gamma on Tuesday to deliver an official proclamation kicking off Alpha Delta Kappa month locally.
“Locally, this chapter supports numerous worthwhile endeavors including, but not limited to: Valley Mission, Salvation Army, New Direction Center, Western State, Augusta Health Center, Waynesboro Public Schools and local nursing homes, both financially and through immeasurable volunteer hours,” he said.
Awareness of local needs and striving to meet them is an important part of the local chapter and its work, he added.
Members of Virginia Alpha Gamma are involved in community outreach. They fill stockings for the Salvation Army every Christmas. Members have contributed money each month toward a local family in need. The monetary gift is bestowed upon the family at Christmastime. Other examples of community work include donating snacks to local schools and collecting toiletry items for patients at Western State hospital.
The organization also supports up-and-coming educators. Every year, an Alpha Delta Kappa scholarship is given to a local graduating student planning to study education.
The scholarship from Virginia Alpha Gamma can range from $500 to $1,000, although the amount most frequently comes to $1,000, Walters said.
The chapter’s overarching hope is to shine light on teachers through an organization that is making a difference in their community.
Virginia Alpha Gamma will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in May of 2020, Walters said. The chapter looks forward to continuing their work supporting the community and educators.